Category Archives: Episodes

Monica Roberts: SVP & Executive Director, City Year Greater Boston -264

Don’t worry about filling someone else’s shoes. Bring your own. -Monica Roberts

Meet Monica Roberts, Senior Vice President & Executive Director of City Year Greater Boston A lifelong resident of Boston, Monica was raised in a home full of faith, rules, and love. She credits her mother for advocating for her and her siblings, reminding them about the value of a strong education. In this interview, Monica shares the story of her father, the son of a sharecropper from Mississippi who quit school at 12 to work in the fields and later completed his education. Monica’s father was a man of service who worked as a truck driver through the night, often distributing food to the needy and plowing his neighbor’s driveways during snow storms. As a preacher in their local church, her dad did not allow his daughters to wear makeup or go to the movie theater. A first-generation college graduate with degrees from Brandeis and Boston College, Monica comes to her position at City Year with extensive experience in public education, having served seven superintendents over a fifteen-year period. Before taking the reins at City Year Greater Boston, she worked at Peace First, a national non-profit, where she honed her leadership skills. For Monica, City Year is a life-changing opportunity for young men and women between the ages 18-25 who support the education of children enrolled in their partner schools. Originally founded in 1988 as a community-based service organization, the mission has expanded and City Year members are changing the lives of kids from kindergarten through high school every day. Grounded in the belief that young people can shape our world, City Year members are role models. Says Monica: “They connect with kids and cheer them on. The City Year red jacket symbolizes the deep investment we have made in the communities we serve.” @cityyear @cityyearboston #community

Lisa Carlin: Founder of Poppies with Purpose -263

Poppies with Purpose is more than a shoe line. It is something that is going to bring courage, joy, and connection whether you have cancer or not. -Lisa Carlin

When bad things happen, you have two choices: you can give up or give it all you’ve got. Lisa Carlin decided to use her breast cancer diagnosis as a catalyst for comfort through the creation of her shoe line, Poppies with Purpose At only 38, with two daughters, ages 3 and 5, at home, she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. Lisa’s road to survivorship included a double mastectomy, breast reconstruction, eight rounds of chemotherapy, and 6 weeks of daily radiation treatments. During this dark time in her life, she discovered a worn pair of pink ballet flats in the back of her closet. Slipping them on one morning before her treatment, Lisa discovered that these simple pink shoes gave her a dose of bravery. Today, Poppies with Purpose is thriving with three shoe colors: pink for breast cancer, blue for colorectal cancer, and tangerine for kidney cancer and leukemia, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting researcHERS, a group that supports grants to female cancer scientists. Lisa also handpicks local charities to support including Runway for Recovery. Every detail of Lisa’s brand is inspired by love. The duster bag that holds each pair of shoes was inspired by her beloved grandmother’s poppy-patterned house coat, and inside every pair of shoes is a reminder to “live each day with a pop of color.” When I asked Lisa how she got through her diagnosis, she said, “It was baby steps. Just a little bit every day is gonna get you to where you want to go. The key is to surround yourself with people who lift you up.” The next time you need a gift for a newly diagnosed friend, think of Lisa and Poppies with Purpose. For 24 minutes of inspiration, hit that download button. #breastcancer #colorectalcancer #kidneycancer #leukemia #survivorship #entrepreneurship

Noel Foy -262

A lot of children believe that perfection is a goal. I help them understand that mistakes are part of the learning process. -Noel Foy

In the spotlight, Noel Foy. Known as Neuro Noel, she got her start as a teacher and learning specialist before blazing a trail as a neuroeducator and anxiety coach. A graduate of Boston College with a B.A. in Education/Special Education and a Masters in American Studies, Noel began noticing that her own sons didn’t like school, but they loved learning. She started attending conferences focused on how the brain works and discovered that she could transform key neuroscience findings into practical ways to reduce the impact of stress on children. The result was transformative. Noel started creating her neuroeducator tool kit by recognizing that if a child’s brain is in a state of anxiety, anger, frustration, or boredom, they disengage from learning. This choice hijacks the brain causing stress, which in turn, hijacks executive function. In her practice, Noel teaches kids that the human brain grows and changes. This neuroplasticity enables the brain to be re-wired. Children are relieved when she explains: “Do you know that your brain gets smarter and stronger when you correct mistakes?” In this interview, Neuro Noel provides clues for parents who believe their children might need help with anxiety. Avoidance, rigidity, catastrophic thinking, and a sense of hopeless permanence are four red flags to look for. The author of two award-winning books called ABC Worry Free and Are You A Bird Like Me? Noel admits she was an anxious child herself and that she finds healing by helping kids who are just like she was. On a mission to spread awareness about anxiety, executive function, and how to use neuroscience in school and beyond, Noel is due to release a third book this year entitled 15 Minute Focus, geared toward teachers, parents, and counselors. For a tutorial on how you can begin to understand and help your anxious child, just hit that download button. #neuroscience #neuroeducator #teacher #parenting #socialandemotionallearning #executivefunction #anxietyawareness

Lindsey Leichthammer -261

It’s fun to be a part of the best day of someone’s life. -Lindsey Leichthammer

Meet event producer extraordinaire, Lindsey Leichthammer. She’s done everything from fluffing the bride’s dress to keeping the bridal party calm as Nana is being placed in an ambulance minutes before the wedding ceremony begins. She also knows what it’s like to be responsible for feeding hundreds of people in the middle of a field in Vermont, with no cell service. By the time you finish listening, you will know for sure that an event producer needs nerves of steel AND a sense of humor. Fortunately, Lindsey has both in spades. Born and raised in the seaside town of Marshfield, Massachusetts, Lindsey enjoyed the love and support of her parents, and the devotion of her older brother, Taylor. Ten years her senior, he instilled confidence in his little sister early on. At 16, Lindsey became a banquet server, offering up bacon-wrapped scallops and dirty martinis at a high-end steakhouse on the beach. In this interview, she recalls loving the excitement of a wedding reception and knew that her career would somehow involve the wedding industry. A graduate of Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, Lindsey majored in Business and minored in Event Management and Marketing. From curating 12-person dinner parties for fussy VIPs to lavish farm-to-table weddings in fields to 3000+ festivals, this young woman has done it all! Now at the helm of her own company called Lindsey Leichthammer Events, she is passionate about delivering unique experiences for her clients. A true believer in tackling any of life’s obstacle head-on, Lindsey says: “The only way out is through. There’s nowhere else to go but on the other side.” For a quick-witted, yet fact-filled look into the wedding industry, just hit that download button. @lindslovesevents @candyoterry #weddings #Vermont #events

Judi Alperin King, Ph.D.-260

We don’t tell anybody what to do. Every Wiley Scholar is an expert on their own life.
-Judi Alperin King, Ph.D.

What happens when a high school student has the desire, the motivation, and the grades to go to college, but lacks the support and the resources to make their life-changing goal a reality?  Enter  With a BA from Hamilton College, a Masters degree from Boston College and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, Judi Alperin King is the Founder and Executive Director of the Massachusetts-based non-profit.  Her vast skillset includes work as a psychologist for 30 years where she focused on children facing serious emotional and behavioral problems. Judi climbed the ladder in her field, developing a keen understanding of what it means to create a sense of community for those in need.  This experience helped her shape the Wiley Network which re-trains clinicians as coaches, providing wrap-around support services that nurture Wiley Scholars from matriculation to graduation,  with weekly meetings, advice, guidance, and a listening ear.  In this interview, Judi explains that colleges are not set up to support the needs of students who don’t have “family privilege“.   Says Judi: ” Our scholars are on their own, living below the poverty level.  Of course, someone loves them, but that parent or guardian, for whatever reason, cannot help them make their college dream come true.”   At its core, the organization honors the scholar as the heart of the mission.  To date, 62 students have graduated from college and there are now 78 scholars on 15 different campuses in the Boston area.   Raised by parents who valued contributing to the greater good, Judi likes to ask the question:  “Who did you help today?”  Her advice to a teenage girl in foster care who wants to go to college but has no one to guide her?  In the words of Mr. Rogers:  “Look for the helpers” and reach out to the Wiley Network.  We’ll be there for you.” #college #education #thewileynetwork #thestorybehindhersuccess.  

Ann M. Doggett, DC -258

The more inflammation you have in your body, the quicker you will age and the lower your quality of life will be. -Ann Doggett, DC

This week’s guest is a trailblazer in the field of holistic healthcare. Meet Dr. Ann Doggett, founder of Whole Body Solutions in Braintree, Massachusetts When Ann founded her practice back in 1989, her focus was chiropractic care, but as the years went by, she came to understand the power of alternative medicine. The mission of her wellness practice is to heal the body from the inside out, using natural remedies including nutrition counseling, acupuncture, chiropractic services, brain integration for learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury, concussion, and PTSD as well as body sculpting, treatments for long COVID, incontinence and sexual health. Her mantra? To help sick people get well, and healthy people stay healthy. The mother of two, Ann holds a doctorate of chiropractic from the New York Chiropractic College and a master’s degree in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport as well as certifications in nutrition response testing, practical herbal therapy, and bioenergetic medicine. The youngest of 8 children with 6 older brothers, Ann was raised in Dorchester, MA. The daughter of a Boston police officer, she credits her very strong mother as her role model as well as her older brothers who always protected her and had her best interests at heart. In this interview, Dr. Ann shares a wealth of knowledge including warnings about sugar intake and processed foods, plus her strong belief that inflammation is at the root of most illnesses. Says Ann: “Health is a mosaic, a reflection of our genetics coupled with stress factors. My goal is to address the entire individual. Emotional losses can also affect our energy. If you are out of balance in your life, your body will tell you. “ For a deep dive into whole body solutions for the new year, just hit that download button. #health #wellness #chiropractic #nutrition #longcovid #acupuncture #alternativemedicine #learningdisabilities #brainintegration

Candy Christmas Special: Christmas Edition 2023 -257

My wish, for you this Christmas? Time for gratitude, for love, for hope, and for planting seeds that bloom in 2024. -Candy O’Terry

I’ve been looking forward to spending some time with you! Welcome to a very special holiday edition of The Story Behind Her Success. Gratitude is a powerful emotion and I’m always grateful to you for listening. This episode includes exclusive content including my answers to your email questions about the creation of the show, favorite interviews, on-air stories, and songs I’ve recorded throughout my career. Ask anyone with a podcast or a radio show and they’ll tell you: the listener is always #1. Thank you for listening every week. I’ll keep bringing you the stories if you promise to keep on listening. #podcast #radio #womensupportingwomen

Sherry Cerino: Author, Publisher & Founder -256

Every child deserves to have a friend and our books create conversations and kindness.
-Sherry Cerino

Meet a lifelong nurse turned children’s author and publisher. Sherry Cerino is on a mission to educate young children about differences. Newly retired after 45 years of nursing at Boston’s top hospitals, Sherry went back to school to learn how to run a non-profit and created Ellasway, an acronym for Early Learning Leads to Acceptance. A collaboration of 35 authors from around the world whose messages are centered around themes of kindness, acceptance, and inclusion, Sherry mentors these authors, offering support and advice. Ellasway uses donations to buy the books from these authors and sends them to areas of need including hospitals and shelters. The proud author of many books including Ella & the All-Stars, Sherry has been bringing her books into schools to read to children for the last 10 years, partnering with teachers on curriculum, and inspiring children wherever she goes. Her target audience is kindergarten where friendships often begin. Says Sherry: “When choosing a friend, children often pick a child who looks like them. Our curriculum celebrates differences and creates conversations about inclusion and kindness.” Born and raised in snowy, cold Watertown, New York, Sherry grew up in a household where she was expected to pull her weight and be a problem solver. Her determination to do good and accomplish big goals shines through in this up-close and personal interview. Says Sherry: “I’m like a dog with a bone. If I have an idea and I want to make it happen, I do whatever I need to do to get it done.” For a tutorial on passion and the power of bringing a noble idea to life, just hit that download button. #education #inclusion #differences #childrensbooks

Eileen Reed: Founder of Simplify with Eileen -255

When you get rid of the things that are physically in the way, you have more time and more clarity, you can see what is next for you and it is life-changing. -Eileen Reed

Years ago Eileen Reed was killing it in sales. Sure, there were plenty of financial benefits but she just wasn’t happy. Eileen wasn’t healthy, either. For the first time in her life, she was overweight, she was plagued by migraines and high blood pressure. At one point, she even thought she was having a heart attack. It was a family loss that served as a wake-up call for Eileen, compelling her to rethink her career and launch a whole new business. Today, Simplify with Eileen is thriving and so is she, offering coaching, hands-on reorganization of home and work spaces, online auctions and so much more. Says Eileen: “All too often, we attach too much value to things. When we declutter, we unburden ourselves. We are finally able to get out from under it all.” Raised in the little town of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Eileen is one of five children who was taught at an early age to be a contributing member of her family and society. In this interview, we learn that Eileen has combined her old-school values with a new philosophy: “I’m an essentialist. I believe in the disciplined pursuit of less.” If you could use an organization coach, 20 minutes of wisdom is just a download away. #declutter #reorganization #essentialist #onlineauctions

Cheryl Opper: Founder of School on Wheels of MA. -254

School is the only normal thing for a child experiencing homelessness. – Cheryl Opper

Great ideas are hatched in lots of places. For Cheryl Opper, the idea of founding School on Wheels, Massachusetts happened back in 2004 at her kitchen table while reading an article about Agnes Stevens of Los Angeles who was the founder of the charity. Cheryl was looking for a pumpkin cheesecake recipe and what she found was a calling to make a difference in the lives of homeless children. The statistics are staggering: there are over 27,000 homeless students in Massachusetts between kindergarten and high school. The average age of a homeless person in the state is just 8 years old and chances are, that child will move 3-5 times a year, leaving giant gaps in their ability to learn. Together with her army of volunteer tutors, Cheryl goes into homeless shelters to provide consistent one-on-one educational support to homeless kids. The relationship begins with the gift of a backpack, stuffed with school essentials and a handwritten note that reads: “I believe in you. You can climb this mountain. Anything is possible.” In this interview, Cheryl looks back on the progress of School on Wheels, MA over the last 20 years. A lifelong school teacher, she is also a person of great faith who believes that “it is such a blessing that God has used my hands, my voice, and my feet to help others.” Her passion for what she does shines through in this interview and you can hear her heartbreak when she describes the children School on Wheels, MA serves. Says Cheryl: “There are homeless students in every school across our state and they are just like your child and my child. They just want to be loved. They just want somebody to show up for them and tell them that they matter. “ #homelessness #education #shelters